« March Date, Saturday, July 1st, Day 15 | Main | March Date, Monday, July 3rd, Day 17 »

March date, Sunday, July 2nd, Day 16

Greetings AMtY friends, the joy of the day to you all....

Troop movement from Ridgebury, Ct. (Camp 11) to Bedford, NY, (Camp 12).

Last evening we all agreed to a Six of the Clock in the Morning Reville, and to be on the move by 7:00 of the Clock. This Camp #11, now a publick golf course owed by the Town of Ridgefield, will have some early starters I am sure. ..and they do not dissappoint. Shortly after Revellie' the players are arriving. They do a pretty good job of ignoring our 'tin town', so intent are they on the coming battle of stick and little ball. We fold, stow, lift, rearrange and are out of camp by 6:55 of the Clock. A guinea then walks by and scolds me, I suppose. Probably for watching her trying to seduce herself in a chrome bumper (tis too funny). A rabbit then bolts by, the place alive. The golf oasis is good for the local wildlife, assuming they don't chemical the grass too much...

We move the camp out of the Artillery Park hill, the troop already going down route. We pass the Brigade of the American Revolution encampment about 1/2 mile down the road, passing uphill from it. It looks surreal, nestled there in the hay field, early in the morning, with smoke from the cook fires already roiling into the air. The sight is dear to our eyes and hearts, and visually, it is no longer the 21st Century.

The Army road twists and turns down to the 116 road, and then heads to New York, which we enter some 3 1/2 miles from Camp 12. We find a spot to rest the baggage train and grab a breakfast. We enter a road block by the local North Salem constabulatory, checking for contraband, or spies, I gather.......... we pass unmolested. The oficers seem to be astounded by the idea of this venture and portraits are quickly taken..... we have no hay for the horses and I must quickly scour the country side for such a service......no hay yet and at 8 miles from Camp 12, I stop to await the arrival of the troop.

The wait is long, too long and I fear that something has come undone. I ask Rose to take the smaller carriage and go in search of the troop. She does so and when she does not return in 10 minutes, I get really concerned. WE now have no communications available to us, only a growing anxiety. I water some of the local fauna while I wait, nervous....... The possible scenarios run through my mind: lost (OK), injury (not good), worse (worse)... I sit and wait, getting impatient.....finally she returns with the troop in tow....fortunately having only taken a wrong turn...... all is again well with the world. We lunch and move on........

Tis pretty uneventful for the rest of the afternoon, now that we have our bearings back. We arrive at Bedford in mid afternoon, an expensive looking town, well manicured with manored estates, lots of brick, a couple of churches there, and a nice Town Green.... this will be Camp 12, should we find a place to stay. So, looking for a camp I stop in a local merchant's house and inquire. They are nice enough to direct us to a Town park, but it is inadequate for our needs. Rose goes on a scout and locates the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, and they are very enthusiastic about our staying there. Still the troop has not arrived yet and I am anxious, but, as it turns out, they have stopped a bit short of the Town Green and are awaiting me......we collect ourselves and go off to Ward Pound Ridge. This place is awesomely beautiful, 2000 acres, with wildlife and streams, and oddly enough, practically empty at the moment. That is hard to fathom, considering it is a Holiday Weekend. Where is everyone? But, in the end, who cares, it is all ours, anywhere we want.. thanks to Ranger Rick and his Staff, we are most warmly received. This is a Westchester County Park and is remarkable in its size and diversity......

We bring in the Washington, into a grove, with tables and a latrine area. There are no showers, but as is pointed out to us, there is a rapidly running stream about 75 yards away. Tis not very long before the troop is in the water, trying to remember that we must give Rose equal time.......reluctantly we move to the Camp, Rose to the stream...... Oh MY GAwd, how good this is. Cool, running, refreshing, and we are all clean agian. WE spot deer on the path to the stream and take portraits. The opportunity to bathe has been few and far between and our buckets have had to suffice...no buckets tonight lads, yahoo!!!!!

We sup with a melange of foods left in the baggage train, delights of clams on the half-shell, some left over beef stew, sausage and meatballs, some chicken surprise, all of it unaccountably delicious.

Ranger Rick says a black bear has been spotted in the park, so , keep our eyes open. We can only hope to see it........ but never do.

The air, cooler now and refreshing, is deep within us as we become one with our surroundings. Some late night chat and beverage, in the dark of the forest, with only our fire as a beacon in the night, sends us all off to rest.....idyllic in thought and in nature, the good hand of Providence has again taken us in it's sure grip......

Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
near Camp 12
Bedford, NY